Freshman Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D) announced Saturday that he would not seek reelection after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment and one day after the House Ethic Committee opened an investigation. In a statement, he denied the allegations and expressed confidence he would clear his name. “However, the allegations that have surfaced would be a distraction from a fair and thorough discussion of the issues in a reelection campaign. Therefore, it is in the best interests of my family and my constituents to complete my term in Congress and not seek reelection,” he said. (release)
Kihuen leaves open a swingy Las Vegas-based seat that both parties plan to contest in 2018. The DCCC called it “a fundamentally Democratic district” that would remain in Democrats’ hands. Meanwhile, the NRCC called it “extremely troubling” that “the DCCC spending millions to prop up a candidate as they were aware of these allegations.” (releases)
Former Reps. Steven Horsford (D) and Cresent Hardy (R) are said to be considering runs for the seat. State Sen. Yvanna Cancela (D) and state Sen. Pat Spearman (D) were also mentioned as potential candidates. Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony (R) is already in the race. (Nevada Independent)
His retirement announcement comes after a fourth woman accused him of inappropriate conduct. “A 24-year-old woman who works at a Washington, D.C. firm that did business with … Kihuen’s campaign said the freshman congressman made unwanted overtures and asked overly personal questions of her this fall while his campaign was a client of her firm. … She said [he] made her feel flustered and uncomfortable, including Kihuen asking at the office why she didn’t have a boyfriend, asking if she lived alone and offering to help her move up in her career—something she interpreted as a possible suggestion for sexual favors. At one fundraiser, she said, he rubbed her lower back and kissed her face several times.” (Nevada Independent)
What We're Following See More »
"Federal prosecutors have charged a former software engineer at the center of a huge C.I.A. breach with stealing classified information, theft of government property and lying to the F.B.I. The engineer, Joshua A. Schulte, 29, of New York, had been the main suspect in one of the worst losses of classified documents in the spy agency’s history. Government investigators suspect that he provided WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization, with a stolen archive of documents detailing the C.I.A.’s hacking operations, but they had not initially charged him in that crime."
"The Senate voted Monday to reimpose the U.S. ban on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, in a rebuke to President Donald Trump and his efforts to keep the company in business. The provision targeting ZTE was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass defense spending bill that cleared the Senate by a vote of 85-10. It must now be reconciled with the House version of the measure, which takes a narrower approach to ZTE." Separately, Trump is directing U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify $200 billion more in tariffs on Chinese products.
"Two longtime associates of President Donald Trump are now acknowledging a previously undisclosed contact in May 2016 with a Russian who they say offered dirt on Hillary Clinton. Roger Stone and Michael Caputo say they forgot to tell investigators about their contact with a Russian national who goes by the name Henry Greenberg — even though they say Greenberg offered to sell incriminating information to the Trump campaign for $2 million."
"As Trump signed a joint statement with Kim Jong Un that offered few details on how the North Korean leader would make good on his vow to denuclearize, Republicans on Capitol Hill said Tuesday that they want and expect the White House to submit any final agreement for their approval." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for any agreement to be in the form of a treaty.
President Trump announced that the United States will suspend "war games" with South Korea, which are "inappropriate" given his meeting with North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un. "We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money," said Trump, "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should." The military exercises "carried out each year by the US and South Korean militaries have been consistently cited by Pyongyang as a US rehearsal for war, and a reason it needs to build a nuclear arsenal."